My wife and I have two sources of stress in our lives when it comes to parenting advice. First, we have her family, who practice a very conventional, mainstream type of parenting. They think we are really out there with our co-sleeping arrangements and our slings and such. But living in Hippie Dippyville like we do, we also have a lot of attachment parents as friends, and they are another sort of stress. We have friends who breastfeed exclusively, imply letting your child cry it out is child abuse, and even some who practice elimination communication. We seem so mainstream to them. The baby sleeps with us at night, but during the day, he takes his naps in the crib. We even let him cry before he sleeps. Also, we breastfeed about 50% and bottle feed the rest of the time.
There is a lot of internal pressure resulting from parenting choices. It is such an important job, and you really want to do the right thing because you know the stakes are high. Most of the time, you try a lot of different approaches, and you make a decision on what works. You just forgot the parenting philosophies.
In order to avoid criticism, we end up lying a lot to both groups. This is silly, I know, but it can make life a lot easier. We don’t tell my wife’s family that the baby sleeps with us, and we keep the feberization on the down low with our hippie friends.
My wife and I have decided to make all of our baby’s food instead of buying it. I enjoy being in the kitchen, and I feel like making the food helps me to make more intentional choices. Most of all, I don’t want him to ingest pesticides, so we buy organic fruits and vegetables that I mash up in the food processor. We definitely thought this would send her family into fits of eye rolling and elbow jabbing. But it turns out, her mother used the exact same process to feed my wife when she was a baby. She would mash up the food and then freeze it in ice cubes in the freezer, just like we do. So you just never know. The organic rice cereal, however, we keep to ourselves.